Marcus opened a can of turpentine. He tipped it slightly so that its upper contents would spill onto a rag that lay on the parking lot next to his car. With the rag partially soaked, he began rubbing on the driver’s-side door. Someone had painted a black swastika on it while he was working late. His cell phone rang.
He opened it, looked at the mini-screen, saw “Grille,” which stood for Jesse James Gang Grille. In the last few days, however, whenever he would see “Grille” displayed as the caller ID, it registered in his mind as “Girl,” meaning Bridget, because she would often call from there.
“Marcus, have you heard about the explosion?”
“At the Belmont Hotel, about 20 minutes ago.”
The Belmont was just two blocks from the restaurant.
“That’s where the FEF convention is. Aleph told me he would be going there tonight. Has anybody been down there to see what’s happening?”
“Kaneesha left here right after we heard it, but she hasn’t returned. I don’t think anybody’s getting in there for awhile. The police have got the whole block barricaded.”
“I want to find out if anything has happened to Aleph. Don’t you think he would have left there by now?
“The TV News says the police aren’t letting anyone in or out except rescue workers.”
“I’m headed over there in a few minutes, as soon as I get the car-door cleaned up. Someone painted a swastika on it."